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What is happening at Adobe? Top news and analysis

Adobe has long since been the industry giant of design and editing software. Their full Adobe Suite packages ranging from design to data management tools have been hugely popular and their broad range of software products have allowed them to establish themselves as the global leader for powering digital businesses. 

As with many businesses, there have been many changes in recent months. However, because the core of their business is digital, they have been able to weather the financial storm that has affected millions of businesses across the globe. Within the business, however, there have still been several key news events to highlight for this year and there are still a few more to come before the year is over.  

Changing of the guard

It has been a busy year for Adobe HR, with several executives and board members resigning and retiring, while many more changed roles and some new faces appeared. In January, Adobe appointed Anil Chakravarthy as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Its Digital Experience Business and in April, Dr. Charles M. Geschke, who co-founded Adobe in 1982, announced his retirement from the board of directors after 38 years at the company. Chief Technology Officer Abhay Parasnis is set to take over the Corporate Strategy and Development aspect of the business and Adobe has announced that Jonathan Vaas, who is currently the Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary will be the one to replace Mike Saviage as vice president of Investor Relations. Executive Vice President Gloria Chen will be stepping into the CHRO (Chief Human Resource Officer) role to replace Donna Morris and as of 5 October 2020, it was announced that Melanie Boulden will be joining Adobe’s board of directors, increasing the number of people on the board from 10 to 11. 

Adobe Max

Adobe’s annual creativity conference, Adobe Max, was held virtually this year and showcased a multitude of updates and innovations within the Creative Cloud space, and launched new features such as Adobe Illustrator for iPad, Fresco availability on iPhone, updated photoshop effects alongside new updates to Premier Pro, Lightroom, After Effects, XD and Adobe Aero. Adobe Max is intended to inspire and foster creators worldwide through events, masterclasses, and deep product dives and discussions and 2020’s event, which took place October 20th. The Adobe Max event was a completely free, 56 hours long event that, as well as being hosted by Conan O’Brian, featured a plethora of celebrity speakers and presenters including Gwyneth Paltrow, Zendaya, Stanley Tucci, Wes Anderson and Taika Waititi. Adobe was able to launch new ideas and create an online space that fostered discussions and innovation within the digital community. 

Record Breaking Financials

Despite this year being a tremendously challenging period of economic uncertainty for companies across the globe, Adobe’s digitally driven business model has managed to provide the company with record financial success, unlike any they have seen in the company’s history. This included a $3.35 billion fourth quarter total revenue – that’s 14 percent year-over-year growth – on top of already strong second and third quarter numbers. 

Market Disruptions 

Despite Adobe’s success, in recent years the ever-evolving online space and world of tech has resulted in the emergence of easily accessible online software that is tailor made for beginners with little to no graphic design experience where they can make their own simple logo and have access to simpler graphic design software. Take TRUiC’s free logo maker, for example, through this site you are able to input information around the industry you are designing your logo for, your preferred color palette and slogan (read more here). The site will then generate several examples for you to choose from, which you can then customize according to your preferences. Once you have finished designing your logo you can download your new logo and utilize it in any capacity you chose. Although many professional graphic designers won’t make the switch to this kind of online design software just yet, the emergence of these kinds of sites with their powerful capabilities and inexpensive, one off charging system will have an impact on Adobe’s Illustrator subscriptions that are held by more intermediate application users. This could potentially have a very adverse impact on Adobe Illustrator by potentially taking a large market share of Illustrator’s business further down the line. 

Adobe Experience Manager Launched

In January 2020, Adobe announced that the Adobe Experience Manager would now be available as a Cloud Service and the senior director of strategy and product, Loni Stark, said that the new product will be able to “supercharges organizations’ abilities to create, manage and deliver more campaigns, digital assets and experiences faster than ever before.” Adobe released the Experience Manager to do four things; allow faster time to value, increase cloud agility and finally experience optimization delivering omnichannel experiences and early results show great success within the markets in each of these areas. 

Digital Economy Index Launched

In March, in order to meet the growing demand for real time, accurate data around spending within the data Adobe unveiled their first Digital Economy Index which is essentially an audit of the “digital consumer shopping basket” where Adobe was able to gather and assess various data points for the sale of online goods and consolidate it into one measuring tool. This gave rise to some interesting insights around consumer spending dating as far back as 2014, and because of this vast array of information available to Adobe is unique to the company, this has meant that many agreements with government agencies and other industry trade organizations have agreed to work alongside Adobe to utilize all of this extremely valuable and relevant information.

New Partnership with IBM and Red Hat. 

Another strategic partnership that has been formed is one between Adobe, IBM and Red Hat, where in order to engage with customers digitally, they have all announced their new Strategic Partnership to help accelerate digital transformation and strengthen real-time data security for enterprises. 

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